Detection of Pathological Voice Using Cepstrum Vectors: A Deep Learning Approach

Shih Hau Fang, Yu Tsao, Min Jing Hsiao, Ji Ying Chen, Ying Hui Lai, Feng Chuan Lin, Chi Te Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Objectives: Computerized detection of voice disorders has attracted considerable academic and clinical interest in the hope of providing an effective screening method for voice diseases before endoscopic confirmation. This study proposes a deep-learning-based approach to detect pathological voice and examines its performance and utility compared with other automatic classification algorithms. Methods: This study retrospectively collected 60 normal voice samples and 402 pathological voice samples of 8 common clinical voice disorders in a voice clinic of a tertiary teaching hospital. We extracted Mel frequency cepstral coefficients from 3-second samples of a sustained vowel. The performances of three machine learning algorithms, namely, deep neural network (DNN), support vector machine, and Gaussian mixture model, were evaluated based on a fivefold cross-validation. Collective cases from the voice disorder database of MEEI (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary) were used to verify the performance of the classification mechanisms. Results: The experimental results demonstrated that DNN outperforms Gaussian mixture model and support vector machine. Its accuracy in detecting voice pathologies reached 94.26% and 90.52% in male and female subjects, based on three representative Mel frequency cepstral coefficient features. When applied to the MEEI database for validation, the DNN also achieved a higher accuracy (99.32%) than the other two classification algorithms. Conclusions: By stacking several layers of neurons with optimized weights, the proposed DNN algorithm can fully utilize the acoustic features and efficiently differentiate between normal and pathological voice samples. Based on this pilot study, future research may proceed to explore more application of DNN from laboratory and clinical perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-641
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Neoplasm
  • Nodule
  • Polyp
  • Spasmodic dysphonia
  • Sulcus


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